Maternal & Fetal Medicine
(L-R): Nisha Vyas, MD, FACOG; Ugochi Akoma, MD, FACOG; Kelly Orzechowski, MD, FACOG and Kyla Patek, MS, CGC
Pregnancy is a time of joy and expectation. But for some, especially those with chronic medical conditions or who are expecting multiples, pregnancy can also be a time of fear and uncertainty. 5%-10% of pregnancies are termed "high risk." A pregnancy is "high risk" or "complicated" when the life or health of the mother or baby may be at risk. It is estimated that approximately one out of every four pregnant women will experience complications this year, sometimes leading to the birth of a premature baby. When babies are born preterm, they have a higher risk for serious health problems. Families can cope more successfully with a high-risk pregnancy with appropriate medical intervention, education, and a strong support system. In fact, many risk factors can be identified even before conception occurs. A high-risk pregnancy diagnosis shouldn't automatically be perceived as negative. With the proper pre-natal care, 90-95% of these pregnancies produce healthy, viable babies. When problems are detected early, the better the chances that both mother and baby will stay healthy.
Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specializes in high-risk pregnancies and works closely with patients and their OB/GYNs to provide personalized coordinated care. The all-female practice is comprised of MFM physicians, a genetic counselor, sonographers and nurses specially trained in maternal-fetal health. MFM physicians have completed four years of OB/GYN residency after medical school, followed by three years of advanced training in an MFM fellowship for special competence in obstetrical, medical and surgical complications of pregnancy. Sonographers have advanced training and certification and are experts in performing high-level ultrasounds, which provide detailed anatomical images of fetal growth and development. OB/GYNs refer patients to MFM specialists based on risk factors that may affect their pregnancy, including family history of genetic conditions, the presence of maternal medical conditions, maternal age (35 years and older at delivery) and multiple births (twins or more). Throughout the pregnancy, the MFM specialists are there to answer patients’ questions and concerns.
- Same-day, urgent appointments
- Extended hours (early mornings and evenings)
- Genetic counseling
- Daily Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis
Our Advanced Imaging
- Diagnostic ultrasound and same-day review of results with patient
- Interpretation and management of ultrasound findings
- Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS)
- Fetal echocardiogram
Our Areas of Expertise Include
Advanced Care and Genetic Counseling
Any time there is an increased risk for genetic conditions, due to maternal age, family history, or a previous birth experience with a genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome or a chromosomal abnormality, genetic counseling is recommended.
Kyla Patek, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor, typically sees patients for genetic screening when an abnormality is detected on ultrasound. She provides information and guidance to patients regarding first-trimester screening, cell-free DNA testing, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), and amniocentesis. Patek’s varied background brings a unique perspective to her work today. Her previous experience includes prenatal care, laboratory research, and neurologic and cancer disorders.